A hundred and twenty Chinese students will come to Italy in September to work on their bachelor and master degrees, marking a substantial progress in the joint campus by institutions of higher learning in both Italy and China, it was learned on Wednesday.
Professor Emilio Bartezzaghi, delegate of the Rector of Internationalization of the Polytechnic University of Milan (PUM), said that this program was "an important part" of the February protocol signed by China's Education Minister Zhou Ji and his Italian counterpart Letizia Moratti.
According to the Protocal, the Universities of Tongji and Fudan, both based in Shanghai, will team up with the Universities of Bocconi and Luiss and PUM to set up a joint campus providing academic degrees in Engineering, Economics and Management.
The first academic year will start in September by which, eighty Chinese high-school graduates will be enrolled to work on the bachelor degrees in Engineering and Economics while the rest 40 work on their Master's degree in international management.
Bartezzaghi said that the year's post-graduate enrollment has been completed already through the Fudan University. A recruiting plan for undergraduates is under deliberation and will be implemented through Tongji University in June.
He said that in next three or four years, a total of 150 Chinese high-school graduates would come to the three Italian universities to work on engineering and economics. This year, 10 Chinese students will have chance to each receive an annual scholarship of 10,000 euros while another eight will be each granted a lesser fellowship of 8,000 euros.
Bartezzaghi said that the fund comes from a special foundation established in part by the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research of Italy and in part by private enterprises such as Finmeccanica, Telecom, Merloni, Banca Intesa, Fiat, Mediaset and Unicredit.
Calling this program "of crucial importance" to the internationalization of PUM and the cultural and educational exchange between China and Italy, Bartezzaghi admitted that more and more attention has been given to Chinese students these years.
For instance, of the 93 foreign students of engineering major in PUM, Chinese students totaled 63 while the numbers of those coming from Europe and the Mediterranean countries stood around 15 separately. Zhao Zhiqiang, an engineering major, attributed the higher proportion of Chinese students to the rising influence of China.
Professor Carlo Ghezzi of the Department of Electronic Information of PUM stressed that the school's scientific research cooperation with China was also "dynamic" and covers a number of fields such as environment protection, architecture, remote sensing and utilization of marine resources. "China is definitely our largest partner in scientific research beyond the European Union," he said.